Break from the routine

OLIDAYS ARE THE TRADITIONAL TIME FOR FAMILY GATHERINGS. But what if your family isn't gathering for your traditional holiday dinners as quickly as they used to? Maybe it's time to break from the routine. Try any of these five tasty, easy-to-prepare, year-round pork holiday recipes. Then prepare to have your family find their way to the table ready to start some great new holiday traditions. And all you had to do was start with pork.
1 pound lean ground pork
1 medium onion, diced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 (16-ounce) can white beans, drained
1 (14-ounce) can corn, drained
1 (141/2-ounce) can chicken broth
1 (4-ounce) can diced green chilies
In large saucepan, brown pork with onion, stir in cumin and chili powder; stir. Stir in remaining ingredients; bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until heated through and flavors are blended. Serves 6
Nutrition facts: 236 calories, 22 g protein, 6 g fat, 565 mg sodium, 40 mg cholesterol, 2 g sat. fat, 2 g carbohydrates, 8 g fiber.
1 (2-pound) boneless pork loin
1 onion, chopped
3/4 cup cola carbonated beverage
3/4 cup barbecue sauce
8 sandwich buns
Combine all ingredients except buns in a 4-quart slow-cooker; cook, covered, on high for 5-6 hours, until very tender. Drain and slice or shred pork; serve on buns with additional barbecue sauce, if desidered.
Serves 8
Tip: Pork can be made 1-2 days ahead; refrigerate covered and reheat before serving.
Nutrition facts: 302 calories, 29 g protein, 8 g fat, 490 mg sodium, 65 mg cholesterol, 28 g carbohydrates.
1 (3- to 4-pound) pork rib roast, with at least 6 ribs, chine bone cracked
1/4 cup pepper-blend seasoning
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Trim rib bones of roast of all extra meat (this is called "Frenching"; you can do it yourself or ask the butcher to do it for you). Coat roast on all surfaces with pepper seasoning. Place roast, bones up, in shallow roasting pan. Roast for 1 to 11/2 hours, until internal temperature (measured with a meat thermometer) reads 155 degrees. Remove roast from oven; let rest until temperature reaches 160 degrees -- about 10 minutes. Cut between rib bones to serve.
Serves 6
Nutrition facts: 270 calories, 34 g protein, 13 g fat, 1,000 mg sodium, 85 mg cholesterol, 5 g sat. fat, 2 g carbohydrates.
2 whole pork tenderloins, a total of about 2 pounds
1 (16-ounce) can unsweetened tart cherries
Cherry-flavor juice
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Season pork tenderloin with salt and pepper; roast in shallow roasting pan for 20-30 minutes, until internal temperature, measured with a meat thermometer, reads 155-160 degrees. Pour glaze evenly over tenderloins during last 10 minutes of roasting time. Serve tenderloins sliced.
Glaze: Drain cherries, reserving juice. Add enough cherry-flavored juice to make one cup. In a small bowl, stir cornstarch into 2 tablespoons juice. In small saucepan, combine cornstarch mixture with remaining juice, cherries, brown sugar and cranberries. Cook, stirring, until mixture boils and thickens; stir in mustard.
Serves 8
Nutrition facts: 210 calories, 24 g protein, 4 g fat, 70 mg sodium, 75 mg cholesterol, 1 g sat. fat, 19 g. carbohydrates, 1 g fiber.
1 fully cooked ham (boneless or shank or butt half, spiral-sliced), 4-5 pounds
1 cup apple cider
4 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons spicy mustard
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place ham in shallow roasting pan in ovenand roast for 1 hour. (about 15-18 minutes per pound.)
Meanwhile, stir 2 tablespoons apple cider and cornstarch together in a small bowl. In a small saucepan, bring cornstarch mixture, remaining apple cider, mustard and cloves to a boil, stirring until thickened. Pour glaze over ham in oven ham during the final 30 minutes of roasting.
Serves 8
Nutrition facts: 510 calories, 53 g protein, 20 g fat, 180 mg sodium, 170 mg cholesterol, 7 g sat. fat, 27 g carbohydrates.
For more pork recipes, leftover ideas and cooking tips visit

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